OFCCP News Release: [01/17/2013]
Contact Name: Scott Allen or Rhonda Burke
Phone Number: (312) 353-6976
Release Number: 13-0030-CHI
Labor Department sues US Security Associates for refusing to comply with federal investigation of employment practices
Complaint asks court to bar security company from government contracting
CHICAGO — The U.S. Department of Labor has filed lawsuits to require Roswell, Ga.-based U.S. Security Associates Inc. — which provides uniformed and trained guards and other emergency responders under federal contract — to submit documents detailing the company’s affirmative action plans for its own facilities in Milwaukee, Wis., and Portage, Ind.
The Labor Department’s suits, filed with its Office of Administrative Law Judges, calls for the company to provide the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs with all documents and information requested, cooperate with scheduled compliance reviews and fully comply with the requirements of all laws enforced by the agency. If the company fails to comply, the department asks the court to cancel all of USA’s current government contracts and to debar the entire company from entering into future contracts.
“Providing OFCCP investigators with access to the documents they need in order to do their jobs is not optional,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. “U.S. Security Associates is well aware of its contractual obligation to submit the records we seek, and the company’s denial of access at these two facilities is especially perplexing given its cooperation in providing the same documentation in past compliance reviews.”
OFCCP sent a scheduling letter to the company’s Milwaukee facility on Dec. 7, 2011, and its Portage facility on Dec. 13, 2011, requesting records that are required for a compliance review. Instead of submitting its affirmative action plans, as required by law, USA filed a complaint with the Office of Administrative Law Judges on June 21, 2012, seeking declaratory relief from the scheduled reviews. On Sep. 17, 2012, Chief Administrative Law Judge Stephen Purcell dismissed the company’s complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. USA appealed the decision to the Administrative Review Board, and the matter is currently pending. Over the following months, OFCCP continued to request that the company submit its plans but, to date, the contractor has refused.
The named facilities are two of more than 20 USA sites that currently have open OFCCP compliance evaluations. Efforts to resolve the issue between the two parties failed when USA decided to deny OFCCP access to information about its affirmative action programs in Milwaukee and Portage. The issue of providing OFCCP with access to such information has been affirmed by the courts numerous times. In November 2011, Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled, in a similar case, that “Submission to such lawful investigations is the price of working as a federal contractor.”
Since at least 2008, USA has been a party to federal contracts that obligate it to develop and maintain plans for its affirmative action programs and provide those plans to OFCCP upon request. In July 2009, USA was awarded a contract with the General Services Administration worth more than $1 million. The company also was awarded a federal contract with the U.S. State Department for more than $7 million covering a period from September 2010 through October 2015.
OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. These three laws require those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, to follow the fair and reasonable standard that they not discriminate in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran.
OFCCP v. U.S. Security Associates Inc.
Case Number: 2013-OFC-00002 (Milwaukee)
Case Number: 2013-OFC-00003 (Portage, Ind.)